• Hieromonk Athanasius (Bukin)

    Hieromonk Athanasius was a member of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem from 2019 till 2023.

    He graduated the Physical-Technical Department of the St. Petersburg Polytechnic University with a Bachelor degree. In 2014 he completed a Bachelor course of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy (SPbTA), and in 2016 the full Master course at SPbTA and defended his Masters Thesis “Ecclesiology of the Metropolitan John Zizioulas: critical analysis” [in Russian] and entered the postgraduate program at the same Academy, where he began working on his candidate thesis on “The Treatise of St. Augustine of Hippo De Baptismo contra donatistas: Historical Context and Theological Content” [in Russian].

    On December 21, 2012 he was tonsured in monasticism with the name Athanasius in honor of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Kovrov. On January 19, 2013 he was ordained a Deacon. On September 1, 2013, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ambrose of Peterhof.

    From the 1st of November 2016 till the 29th of May 2017, he studied Modern Greek at the School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2018-2019, he studied Theology at Master Program at the University of Nicosia (Republic of Cyprus), where he defended his Master Thesis on the 16th of September 2022 on the topic “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Approaches from St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Augustine of Hippo” [in Greek].

    The main area of his scientific and theological interests is Ecclesiology and the Theological heritage of St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.

    On the 7th of February 2023 he left the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission and the Russian Orthodox Church due to his unwillingness to participate in Russia's military aggression in Ukraine. In this regard, on the 20th of February 2023, by decree of Patriarch Kirill, he was dismissed, banned from priestly ministry and sent to the St. Petersburg diocese for consideration by the Disciplinary Commission. The latter issued a decision on his defrocking, which is awaiting approval by the Patriarch.

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Prayer Forced Me to Leave the Russian Orthodox Church

On February 7th, 2023, still a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church, I boarded a plane and left the Holy Land, where I was serving as a member of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem (REM). Only after landing in Antalya (Turkey) did I publish a post on social media in which I announced m... Read more.
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